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Speaker Harrell, Chairman Leatherman, Chairman Cooper and State Business Leaders Are Passionate About Knowledge Based Jobs For Our State

Legislative Leaders Unveil Plan for SC's Economic Future

Leadership needed to combat SC's Record Unemployment Rate


(Columbia, SC) ? In a press conference held earlier today, Legislative Leaders along with Economic Development Industry Leaders met to unveil an outline for South Carolina's future economic success and job creation plan.  This Future Economic Development Blueprint was formulated by the collective efforts from Legislative Leaders, the South Carolina Research Authority (SCRA), our state's Research Universities and private sector leaders. 


To stress the goal of job creation and to highlight our state's high unemployment rate, participants met at the South Carolina Employment Security Commission ? the acting unemployment office for far too many South Carolinians. 


Using less economic development tools than are available today, Governor Campbell's and Governor Beasley's administrations were successful in attracting businesses and creating jobs for our state.  Under their leadership, our unemployment rate was one of the best in the nation, climbing as high as third best.  Now, despite having more tools available to improve economic soil conditions, we have fallen to one of the worst unemployment rates in the nation and lag behind our neighboring states when it comes to average income levels. 


Because of these current conditions, leaders felt the need for a unified framework that both the government and the private sector can use to grow our state's economy and actively combat our high unemployment rate and below average per capita income. 


The plan ? detailed in a letter sent to Economic Development Contributors all over our state by House Speaker Bobby Harrell, Senate President Pro Tempore Glenn McConnell, House Ways & Means Chairman Dan Cooper and Senate Finance Chairman Hugh Leatherman ? combines past legislative efforts with an outline of future collaborative execution to help us accomplish our overall goal of creating more high-paying jobs in South Carolina. 


Speaker Bobby Harrell ? who has been a State and National Co-Chair for the McCain Campaign since February 2008 ? echoed Presidential candidate John McCain's recent statement that "Jobs are the most important thing our economy creates."


"The number one issue facing our state for the next two decades is our economy.  Our state has held the title of 'One of the Worst Unemployment Rates in the Nation' for far too long," Speaker Harrell said.  "The General Assembly has been doing everything it can to provide the tools necessary to change that and create the jobs our citizens so desperately need." 


Harrell continued, "However, the past few years of inaction and missed opportunities has shown us that if we truly want those high-paying jobs created, we must not only provide the means but also the execution.  Especially now, given the current state of our national economy and our high unemployment rate, we can no longer wait for that leadership to present itself."


The plan for South Carolina's future economic success breaks down our state's current economic structure and identifies the primary forces driving each sector.  The strategy for economic growth and job creation relies on a mutual effort to expand those current sectors with a focus on growing our budding Knowledge-Based Economy. 


With each independent sector related and dependent on the others for its own success and growth, the expansion of our Knowledge-Based Economy will act as the best catalyst, spurring accelerated growth and job creation across the board.


Senate President Pro Tempore Glenn McConnell said, "In laying out this vision for job creation and future economic success, we are trying to send a message to the private sector that the South Carolina Legislature is fully dedicated to this effort."


Senator McConnell added, "These initiatives will require an intensely unified working partnership to produce our intended result of creating a large number of high-paying jobs.  With our continued commitment to the private sector and a strong collaborative effort in the execution of this plan, we are confident that our state and our citizens will see huge successes in the future."


One of the initial steps the plan calls for, is for the SCRA to act as a facilitator and guide in expanding our Knowledge-Based Economy by creating a "Knowledge Sector Council".  This more structured public/private consortium will help us ensure that our collective efforts are focused, coordinated and maximized.  And most importantly, show us where our successes are and how we can improve. 


By building on the recent ? and future ? actions of the General Assembly, we will help foster innovations and advancements that will enable all of our economic sectors to grow and produce the targeted jobs we are trying to bring to South Carolina. 


"These plans encompass all aspects of industry and all sectors of our economy," Speaker Harrell said.  "While some areas of this plan are detailed and will require a huge collaborative undertaking, we must never lose sight of our intended goal ? creating more high-paying jobs for South Carolinians."


Harrell continued, "The ground work for this success has already been laid by the many efforts of the General Assembly and other involved parties.  We only need the leadership and framework to combine those efforts and take that next step forward."


Review this list of Major Legislative Economic Devleopment and Job Creation Accomphishments since early 2000.


Major Legislative Economic Development and Job Creation Accomplishments




S.1252 Continuation of the Research Centers of Economic Excellence Program 

Continues the successful endowed professorships program at the State's research universities.  To anchor centers conducting scientific research with business applications.  To qualify, investments must lead to the creation of jobs.  It eliminates the 2010 expiration date for the centers.


Ratified on June 5

Vetoed on June 11

Veto overridden on June 25



H.4735 South Carolina Educational Broadband Service Commission

Evaluates business proposals for leasing the excess spectrum capacity licensed to the South Carolina Educational Television Network that will become available following the federally required conversion to digital broadcasting.


Ratified on May 22



H.4815 Transfer of the South Carolina Film Commission

To ensure the proper utilization of this economic sector that has the potential to create many jobs, generate millions of dollars in investment and increase tourism, it transfers the Film Commission from the Department of Commerce and establishes it as a separate division of the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism.



Ratified on June 5, 2008

Vetoed on June 11, 2008

Veto overridden June 25



H.4953 South Carolina LightRail Consortium

Manages access to a high speed, high bandwidth fiber optic communications network for research and clinical work conducted by the State's institutions of higher learning and their research partners. 


Ratified on June 10

Became law without the Governor's signature on June 17




H. 4800, Part 1B; Section 40.41 Donaldson Center Industrial Air Park-Repayment of Energy Loan

If the Donaldson Center project was not funded the state would lose 1,100 high paying jobs due to relocation of Lockheed Martin out of state.  This proviso added by W&M to direct that $1,929,000 of the Dept. of Commerce's appropriated, authorized, or carried forward funds be used to repay the State Energy Office energy loan that was made to the Donaldson Center Industrial Air Park.


Vetoed May 28

Veto overridden June 3


S.91 "Research and Development Tax Credit Reform Act"

Provides an individual income tax credit equal to 5% of the taxpayer's qualified research expenditures made in South Carolina. Corporate income taxpayers already may claim this credit against their corporate income tax liability or their license fee liability. Qualified research expenses are limited to research undertaken to discover information that is technological in nature, and its application must be intended for


use in developing a new or improved business component of the taxpayer. The research must relate to new or improved function, performance, reliability, or quality.


Ratified June 7

Vetoed June 14

Veto Overridden June 21



S.243 "South Carolina Hydrogen Infrastructure Development Act"

With experts predicting this economic sector to become a $2.6 trillion industry in the next 20 years, this Creates a program to award grants for the purpose of promoting the development and deployment of hydrogen production, storage, distribution, and dispensing infrastructure and related products and services that enable the growth of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies in the State.  The legislation also provides a state sales tax exemption for equipment or machinery used for hydrogen fuel cell research and development or distribution.  Under the act, state agencies are required to consider purchasing equipment and machinery operated by hydrogen fuel cells.


Ratified June 7

Vetoed June 14

Veto Overridden June 19



S.243 "Energy Freedom and Rural Development Act,"

Establishes tax credits, rebates, and incentive programs to encourage biomass fuel development and utilization.


Ratified June 7

Vetoed June 14

Veto Overridden June 19



S.266 "South Carolina Priority Investment Act"

Provides definitions for several terms relating to comprehensive plans of local planning commissions.  Requires these comprehensive plans to include a priority investment element that analyzes the likely federal, state, and local funds available for public infrastructure and facilities during the next ten years and recommends the projects for expenditure of those funds during the next ten years for needed public infrastructure and facilities.


Ratified May 17


S.332 Workers' Compensation Reform

Streamlines and improves the State's Workers' Compensation system.  Discourages fraud by increasing the penalties for fraudulent claims and eliminates the State's Second Injury Fund to keep premiums affordable.


Ratified June 20




S.656 Scholarship Enhancements for Students Majoring in Science or Mathematics

To help increase a knowledge sector workforce, this allows students receiving a Palmetto Fellows Scholarship or LIFE Scholarship to receive an additional stipend if they are receiving an undergraduate

degree in a science or mathematics discipline, computer science or informational technology, engineering,


science education, math education, or health care and related disciplines including medicine and dentistry.


Ratified June 21

Vetoed June 27

Veto overridden June 29



H.3505 Joint Resolution Regarding Jasper County Port Facility 

Establishes a Savannah River Maritime Commission to negotiate with the State of Georgia, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and others regarding the use of the Savannah River as a waterway for ocean‑going container or commerce vessels.


Ratified May 26



H.3569 Broadband Technology and Communications Study Committee

Creates the South Carolina Broadband Technology and Communications Study Committee to examine opportunities for providing all South Carolinians with affordable high-speed Internet access and other broadband products and services critical for economic development and educational advancement.


Ratified June 7



H.3749 Development of Renewable Energy Infrastructure

Promotes the development of renewable energy infrastructure within the state through programs that award grants and provide low interest loans to individuals or organizations that plan to build a qualified renewable energy production facility that produces energy or transportation fuels from biomass, solar, or wind resources.


Ratified June 21

Vetoed June 27

Veto Overridden June 28




H.3841 "South Carolina Retail Facilities Revitalization Act"

Encourages businesses to locate or expand in South Carolina through the provision of incentives such as additional tax credits and tax exemptions.


Ratified May 18



H.4428 "South Carolina Competitive Cable Services Act"

Establishes a uniform statewide framework under which cable television, satellite, telecommunications companies, and other providers may compete with one another in offering cable television services.


Ratified May 18

H.4800 Corporate Headquarters Income Tax Credit

Allows certain banks that establish headquarters with forty or more employees to be eligible for the corporate headquarters income tax credit and a targeted jobs tax credit.


Ratified May 31




H.4840 "Industry Partners Act"

Establishes and provides for, within each of the three South Carolina Research Innovation Centers (SCRIC), a target program of excellence reflecting the basic research currently undertaken at each center and serving as the focal point of the State's applied research and development in each of the program areas of excellence.  Targeted programs of excellence are authorized to undertake initiatives including but not limited to incubation, collaborations, financing, and marketing.


Ratified May 25

Vetoed May 31

Veto Overridden June 1



H.4874 "South Carolina Economic Development Incentive Act"

Establishes a number of pro-business policies that help South Carolina's businesses grow.  Allows banks to qualify for job tax credits, provides tax credits to businesses that use state port facilities, expands the definition of corporate headquarters, provides sales tax exemptions if natural gas prices rise above certain levels, widens job development credits enabling more companies to qualify for the Fee in Lieu-of-Taxes incentive.


Ratified June 7

Vetoed June 13

Veto Overridden June 14



H.5001 Trident Technical College Enterprise Campus Authority Act

Promotes and enhances South Carolina's economic development through the location and development of the film industries and high-technology businesses and industries, this bill provides for a "Main Campus" and a separate "Enterprise Campus" at Trident Technical College.


Ratified June 7





H.3006 2005 Jobs Creation Act

Amends the Jobs Tax Credit law to promote and encourage small businesses to create new jobs.  Encourages investment in high-tech and start-up companies and creates a Capital Access Program to assist small businesses in obtaining financing.


Ratified June 6



H.3007 Small Business Income Tax Reduction

Reduces the tax rate for qualifying businesses from seven percent to five percent.


Ratified April 12





H.3008 "SC Economic Development, Citizens, and Small Business Protection Act of 2005"

Provides for comprehensive tort reform.  Addresses the way in which the State's judicial system handles torts.


Ratified March 17



H.3152 Motion Picture Incentive Act Amendments

Makes numerous amendments to the South Carolina Motion Picture Incentive Act including, but not limited to: extending the exemption from sales and use tax to include an exemption from local, as well as state sales and use taxes; allowing up to seven percent of the general fund portion of admissions tax collected and funded to the State Film Commission to be used exclusively for marketing and special events; deleting a rebate to a motion picture company for sales tax paid on accommodations.


Ratified May 4



H.3155 Education and Economic Development Act
Requires and provides for the development a curriculum organized around a career cluster system that must provide students with both strong academics and real-world problem-solving skills.


Ratified May 24



H.3234 Air Carrier Hub Facilities

Expands the definition of "air carrier hub terminal facility" to include facilities that will use two or more specially equipped planes that are used for the transportation of specialized cargo and subject to ad valorem property taxation or a fee in lieu of taxes in South Carolina.  The term "air carrier hub terminal facility" includes an economic development project, as defined in the State General Obligation Economic Development Bond Act, that is functionally related to a facility satisfying one of the criteria included in the definition of an air carrier hub terminal facility.


Ratified March 31



H.3296 Department of Transportation State Non-Federal Aid Highway Fund
Dedicates to the Department of Transportation (DOT) State Non-Federal Aid Highway Fund, certain fines and fees.  Eliminates, over a five-year period, funding provided to the South Carolina Coordinating Council for Economic Development from the gasoline user fee. Provides that DOT operational revenues be placed in either the State Highway Fund or the State Non-Federal Aid Highway Fund and provides for a declining schedule of payments for DOT's cost of administration.



Ratified June 6

Vetoed June 10

Veto Overridden June 14





H.3794 South Carolina Research Authority Amendments

Makes numerous changes to the South Carolina Research Authority.


Ratified June 2



H.3885 Companies Using State Ports Authority

Authorizes and provides for either an additional jobs tax credit or an additional investment tax credit for companies which use South Carolina port facilities and which increase their base port cargo volume at these facilities by a minimum of five percent over 2005 totals.


Ratified June 1



H.3932 Revisions to State General Obligation Economic Development Bond Act

Revises certain definitions included in the State General Obligation Economic Development Bond Act and provides further for the manner in which these bonds shall be issued.